Sister to Sister: I’m Old…So Here! (Part 3)

11057335_10152618923116384_8647455845390333819_nSuggestion three is not easy to say. In fact, its implementation is a struggle for this older woman. But I believe it might be the most practical of any suggestion in 2015 for millennials who want to be keepers–guardians  and protectors of–the home. I’m not a millennial. (Does that mean I am a pre-millennial? Not in the theological sense, but, yes–in the “older woman” sense.) But I know lots of them and I love the way that so many of them are coming back home–to its values, its oh-so-important roles, its traditions. So today, let’s think about something small, relatively new and pretty powerful in terms of relationships in the home.

It fits in the pocket of your purse or sometimes even in a very large pocketed keychain. It’s only a few centimeters in both length and width. In fact, its smallness is one of its biggest selling points. But in that tiny pocket package there is power to destroy relationships. The devil can fit in a package even that tiny, if you let him. You know what the package is. It’s your cell phone—your mobile device.

I heard about a pre-schooler the other day who was asked the question, “What’s the most important thing in the world to your mommy?” Without batting an eye, the sweet little girl responded “Her phone.” Sometimes the answer must be just that obvious to our kids. We keep it with us at all times. We protect it from the elements. (I actually know a man who, while cleaning the swimming pool, was accidentally falling into the water. This man had the prudence and presence of mind to reach into the pocket of his shorts and toss his cell phone onto the concrete, mid-fall! The phone was salvaged.)  We make monthly payments for its use and we check on it multiple times throughout our days.

But I know many homes in which the devil, through that little flat rectangular disc, is doing great damage. Here are a few ways he works through your device:

  1. He makes you fail to “redeem the time”. Sometimes our houses are dirty and/or cluttered, we are behind on the laundry, the cat litter box is a mess, the beds are unmade and we are running late to worship. We fail to study our Bibles daily, but we have scrolled through our news feeds, taken time to post a picture or status and, oh, if only our houses looked like our pins! (Don’t think for a moment that this is personally directed at anyone, because I write, first, to improve my own time redemptive habits.)
  2. The devil makes you overspend. It’s so much easier to buy things when there’s no getting out of your pajamas, no “store hours” to fit into your schedule, no face-to-face exchange of money, no paper trail and SO MUCH (literally, the whole world of retail) from which to choose.
  3. He makes you fail to see needs around you. You are focused on the needs that are far away…a child on CNN who is lost in the Rockies, a ten car pile-up on I-65, a federal financial crisis, or a politician who has misspoken. All the while, you are failing to see the things you can personally fix, or at the very least, affect…the child who is losing his way spiritually—YOUR child…the “pile-up” that’s in your closet, your playroom or your laundry room or, even worse, the emotional pile-up that has accumulated between you and your sister in Christ…the financial crisis that has occurred in your own checking account or with the plastic in your wallet…the words misspoken around your own breakfast table, or the words of encouragement that went unspoken as you scrolled through distant statuses and pithy postings of strangers. Sometimes, we just become very far-sighted in the presence of our devices and the things we could positively affect remain unaffected. And when we fail to do good, it is sin (James 4:17).
  4. The devil tempts us through the lust of the eyes and flesh (I John 2:16). With the multi-billion dollar pornography industry, most of which is readily available on your device, not to mention the appeal of the world through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, he is having a heyday in the lives of the people who are supposed to be sanctified. If you cannot see this as a personal affront of the devil—an affront of which you need to constantly beware—then you are not astute enough to be mentally responsible before God.
  5. The devil is working to addict (enslave) the people of God. Anything that I can’t lay aside for  His purposes, whatever His purpose may be at any given time, is an addiction. Many people I know are addicted to cell phone use. They cannot lay the devices aside for more important things, even temporarily.
  6. The most tragic thing the devil might be doing through your mobile device is destroying your relationship with your spouse. The command for wives in Titus 2 is to love (phileo) our husbands. “Phileo” is friendship love. We are commanded to be best friends with our husbands. Our husbands are commanded to dwell with us according to knowledge, giving us honor. We are missing out on some pretty basic and important relationship builders when we are phone or i-pad addicted. We miss smiles and winks. We miss opportunities to pick up a dropped fork or a broken spirit. We miss conversations that result in sexual intimacy or answers to life’s dilemmas. We miss the “look” of utter dependence that might have made us more clearly see the importance of what we are doing in the home or, in the case of husbands, on the job. We, thus, miss confidence milestones and esteem builders. We miss opportunities to show gratitude. We are absent in the “moments” of life and love. We become deficient in our communication skills because it’s easier to “stalk” than talk; easier to feed curiosity than character; easier to maintain internet navigation than interpersonal communication. So we slowly erode relationships. We do what is easy and neglect what is rewarding. It is a self-centered way to watch our marriages die. And, when the devil succeeds, through the tiny box, in this erosion, he can get his tentacles on so much more—your purpose, your skills of submission or your husband’s leadership abilities, and even the generations that will eventually come from your home.

Are you wondering if the devil may be “stalking” you through your device. Ask yourself some simple questions:

  1. Are there days when the “basics” of home are missing some components—like hot meals, clean clothes in the closet, or clean forks in the drawer…but the facebook posts have been read and you’ve caught up on Instagram notifications? (Maybe I should get up this very moment and do something else and not even post this!)
  2. If you check back on your eBay or Amazon (or other retail) history, do you find that you are spending more than you thought on impulse on-line purchases? Do your kids or grandkids already have more than they need to wear (or play with) and more keeps popping up in your mailbox? Do you have so many clothes (or shoes or purses or baby carriers) that you never wear any of them out and you keep searching the web for more? (I talk to myself. Do you?)
  3. I know you use your Facebook to encourage others, but, if you read Matthew 25, do you find  yourself failing to do most of the “judgement-day-requisites” listed in verses 33-46 in real relationships with those in your congregation, while you find time somehow to shop, pin, post and “catch up” with people you seldom see?
  4. Do you find yourself taking your device to the bathroom with you or locking the door of your office while perusing the web or quickly shutting down pages when someone walks into the room?
  5. If you challenged yourself to do without your mobile devices for one full day except to answer incoming voice calls, would you have a difficult time doing that? Is it hard for you to commit to that test?
  6. Do you have your phone with you at the dinner table?
  7. Do you text others as you ride along with your spouse in the car?
  8. Do you text while driving?
  9. Has your spouse ever mentioned  to you that he wishes you would not be on your phone while with him?
  10. Do you communicate with someone  of the opposite sex online about matters that are sensitive, personal or even sexual in nature?
  11. Do you “talk” with someone of the opposite sex online…a friendly communicative relationship of which your spouse is unaware?
  12. Do you keep surfing or communicating online at night after your spouse goes to sleep?
  13. Do you find yourself very often finishing a line of text or reading a post before going to see about a crying baby or answering child who is calling you? Or do you always look at your phone while rocking your baby or watching a movie or ballgame with your children or family?
  14. Have you ever parted from your spouse and failed to kiss him goodbye because you were involved on your device?
  15. Are you withholding any passwords or devices from full spousal awareness and accountability?

imagesIf one or more of the answers to the above questions is “yes” for me, then I need to examine that area of my life and consider changes. I might be using my phone to communicate while failing in the most important communication of all. If several of the answers is “yes”, then I should beware. The devil may be trying to connect with me online. If I accept him as a friend, I will complicate my life and endanger my eternity. He is constantly posting, sharing, tweeting and texting. He is very tech savvy and extremely “social”.  I must be sure that I own my i-phone rather than allowing it to own me. Because the devil knows my number.

Got Boys? Make a New Year’s Resolution.

images-10Satan is trying so hard to turn your teen boy’s head and heart from the purposes you’ve diligently cultivated in him. He’s a teenager now. You don’t cuddle with him in your lap, read him stories or play Candy Land with him anymore. In fact, it seems there’s more “device-time” now than there is real parental communication going on in his world. So, what’s a mom to do? Do we really raise them for the first twelve years just to watch our relationships and influence slowly erode, making us virtual strangers in the same houses?

No!! You and your husband can foster a close bond with your teenage son. I see it happening all around me. It’s challenging because of what the devil is doing in your son’s world of school, peers, and media. But it is possible and it is eternally rewarding! I hope to include snippets throughout the coming year in this blog about ways we, as moms, can enable our sons on the path to holy living and godly leadership. For today, let me tell you about an upcoming day in Tennessee that’s worth your drive for a great and intentional beginning of a better 2015 for your son (or in the case of my correspondence this morning, your whole boys youth group!)…

Just this morning I got a text from a friend who works with youth in a small congregation…a group of kids who want to be active, have good hearts, but just cannot afford the large hotel-housed youth events that are doing much good these days.  I am going to suggest an event for your boys that will cost you nothing but gas to get there and may possibly even exceed (in individual hearts) the great good done at a mega-youth event. I say this because of the subject material and because I’m a little biased regarding the speaker.

If you have boys in your home or youth group, please consider the following. I can personally attest to the fact that, if your boys take to heart the material presented  from the Word on January 17th at Fairview and if they make the practical applications in their lives (applications that will be clearly taught in this short seminar), they will live the rest of their teen years in purity and become leaders in godly homes.

I’d pay a lot of money and drive a long way for that kind of training. But you don’t have to pay a lot! Free admission, free housing for out-of-town guests in Christian homes, free breakfast and lunch, and a free t-shirt?!  It’s like getting all the best things about an EU or a EYC or a CYC (or some other letters) without the cost that might be prohibitive. It’s also a great event for dads and sons to attend together. (Makes for some great family Bible time discussions later on.)

Your guys will hear about dating behavior, leadership skills, how to combat the temptations pornography presents in our world, and how to make spiritually healthy media choices. They will hear about the way real men choose women of faith and then how they treat those godly women.

So here’s the lowdown. Be sure and make your reservation within the next few days. The t shirt will be the least valuable thing your guys come away with, but still, they will want one!

Boys to Men:  Doing it God’s Way 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

Time:  9 am to 2pm

Speaker: Glenn Colley

@ Fairview church of Christ, Pulaski, TN

1765 Industrial Loop Road, Pulaski, 38478

**Breakfast and Lunch provided

**Out of town housing available on a first come first serve basis.  We will do our very best to make sure everyone has a place to stay.

Also find us on FB.

Free T-shirts available if you pre-register by January 7, 2015

Link to register: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1TbcIZOd_1T1jmYLnqGlf8z0IXsNe31iTsgh040v5JA0/viewform

 

Boys to Men: Doing it God’s Way 2015 – Registration Form

docs.google.com

I Was Shocked and Hurt on Christmas Morning

DSC_0315I was shocked and disappointed…and that was a very good thing. At first I couldn’t believe my ears. I was wearing Ezra in a baby carrier (burdensome task, I know, but someone has to do it). We were in the midst of the Christmas morning magic and I was passing out the gifts under our tree. (That’s just always been my job on Christmas morning) For some odd Christmas-Eve- reason, I had been up till 4 a.m. that morning (Whew, I don’t know how Santa came when I was awake almost the entire night, but he did!) So there we were in the middle of ribbons and paper and gratitude and magic, when I suddenly felt very thirsty. So I looked over that little Santa hat hugged tight to my chest and said. “Hey Glenn, do you mind getting me a drink from the kitchen?”

And then it came from his lips…the line I will never forget: “You get it yourself. I don’t really want to miss this.” Just as calmly and matter-of-factly as you please, he said it. At first, I thought he was saying it with a hint of teasing, you know playful banter, but he didn’t move and his face was expressionless, his eyes glued on the gifts that the kids were admiring.

Then Hannah looked over at him, wide-eyed, and said “Really, Dad?” He just kept right on looking with interest at the boys’ gifts and admiring the books or socks or whatever he’d been given and nodded. “Yeah, she can get it this time.”

Hannah quickly rose out of the middle of that couch and said. “I’m getting it, Mom.” I cannot believe he just said that.”

I said, “No Hannah…I’m halfway there already.” I thought I really needed to go to the kitchen by that time to have a short cry and recompose myself…to try and salvage the morning. But I was confused, hurt and deeply disappointed. Maybe I said something offensive to him? Maybe his psyche was being affected by that chemo-type medication he was taking for that pre-cancerous spot on his ear? Maybe this was a dream and I was about to wake up? I tried to process this all the way to the kitchen sink. Maybe….”AHHHHH!!!!…there are beautiful dishes that are just like my mother’s best china in my dish drainer!!!” They heard me scream all the way to the living room.

And there they were… the beautiful dishes. The china was vintage. It was just exactly like the dishes from my childhood at 941 Lynn Dale Lane—the ones we only ate on when the preacher was there for supper during the gospel meeting…and maybe, once in a while, at Christmas time. My father had given them to my mother one Christmas when I was about two years old. That would have been back in the sixties. And the way he had given them to her was by placing them in her dish drainer and she found them in the exact way that I had found mine. (Many thanks to my sweet sister, Celine, for finding these in an antique store and contacting my sweet elf with possibly his best Christmas idea ever! Celine has the real set from my mother’s kitchen. But now, I have a set, too…and this priceless Christmas morning memory.)

But the best part of the story is that I was sad, shocked, disappointed and very disturbed. I know women whose husbands speak to them every day just like mine spoke to me and there is no surprise or shock when they do. I know women who are quite used to husbands who inconsiderately snap at them, who respond to their requests with contempt, and who fail the tenderness test every day of the week. In the lives of these women there is no shock, no amazement, because it is, in fact, nothing out of the ordinary when they are treated with disdain or, at the least, indifference. The children in these homes, sadly, grow up, never even seeing or understanding what a godly leader looks like.

But not at my house. Praise God that this relatively calm and benign behavior from my husband was shocking. I’m glad it was a moment of hurt and pain—a bolt from the blue. Because you can’t have a bolt from the blue unless you have…well, the wonderful blue! I’m grateful for that little moment of psychological excruciation. I’m grateful to the husband, but mostly, I’m grateful to the Lord, because I know it is the influence of Jesus, the Christ…His golden rule, His example of washing disciples’ feet, His kindness to the women he encountered, His inverted pyramid of greatness, and the Calvary kind of love that He has for His bride…that makes moments like the vintage dish moment shocking to me. I’m so thankful for my Lord, the ultimate loving Husband.

August…the Month of Reaching

CCHeaderNew Blog! You might want to check out Caleb Colley’s new internet journal. Called “Restore” its address is www.calebcolley.com. I’ve taken a look already and it’s not your everyday “things-to-think-about” or “what’s-going-on-in-my-world” blog. It’s a well organized multi-dimensional site that includes more than may pop into your mind when you think of a blog. Categories include the faith page, which features articles about the pillars of Christianity, and the family page, tackling issues about church and family. There’s also a page about the Restoration Movement, an ethics section and even pages that will teach lessons from sports and film. I’m personally excited to see what practical lessons pop up in those categories. I just wanted to invite you to take a look as this site launches today. When you do, you may think it’s your husband who will enjoy it more. That’s okay. Invite him, too!

August…the Month of Reaching

It’s a marvel to me that 24 months have elapsed since the beginning of the first Digging Deep study and the morphing of that small PTP session into an international women’s Bible study group. You’re invited to the brand new study that will begin on September 1st. Details will follow both here and in a session on Tuesday, August 27th at Polishing the Pulpit in Sevierville, Tn. That session will be streamed live for those of you who are unable to be in the room with us. (It will be available Tuesday, August 27th at 2:30 pm EST at http://new.livestream.com/whcoc/for-women.) These are exciting times. Who would have thought we (ladies all over the world) would be able to virtually assemble for His glory, spend time in discussing His will for our lives, pray together and motivate each other to love and good works (Heb. 10:24) as we are now doing! This study most certainly exponentially builds faith. That’s what He has promised (Romans 10:17). And Faith IS the victory that overcomes the world.

Faith is only alive when it is working, though. That’s why our assignments in August each year are reaching assignments. August is the month in which we use our spiritual nerves. I mean we put what’s in our spiritual brains (the faith we have acquired from study) into our hands, arms. legs and feet. We write notes, cook meals, wash dishes, have heart-to-hearts and we WORK. This year we are working to restore, in the spirit of meekness, those around us who may be struggling to be the sanctified people of God (Gal. 6:1). In case you are not a part of the study, here’s what August looks like. (Of course, we all are working year round. If we weren’t, we would be pretty backward believers! But August is our month of study application. It’s the most hands-on part of our Digging Deep year.) Here’s this month’s assignment and one final note:

Read the book of I Peter this month, memorizing chapter 2, verses 9-11. Make a note of each time suffering or trials or pain is mentioned. See if you can also make a list of promised benefits of suffering. Does suffering sanctify us? Give scriptures to prove your answer. How does suffering allow us to be partakers with Christ? When we are partakers with Him, we are sanctified!

The challenge for August is to reach out to someone who may be struggling in their attempts to leave the world and be holy. Perhaps it is a teen girl in your congregation who is peer dependent. Perhaps it is a young mother who thinks an awful lot about the acquisition of this world’s goods. Perhaps it is a brother who is tempted by alcohol. Perhaps it is a business person who is constantly away from his family. Choose one or more of the following ways to encourage holiness in the body where you are. If this is hard for you, remember that it’s the hard things that help us to be partakers with the Christ!

1. Write a letter to a younger woman and tell her that you are praying for her daily as she faces the rough decisions of her school or workplace. Tell her you are “here for her” when she needs encouragement.

2. Ask a weaker member of the body to have a weekly study with you about sanctification. You should be ready for this.

3. Make a phone call to someone who is haphazard in attendance to let her know she is missed and ask if she’s okay.

4. Purchase a Christian parenting book written by one of our faithful brothers or sisters for parents who are struggling to bring their young children up in the ways of the Lord. Write a sweet note in the cover and tell them you are appreciative of the way they are trying to be godly parents in this tough world.

5. Purchase a book about teen purity for a struggling teen in your congregation. Ask her to read it and then get together with you at the coffee shop or at your house to talk about how she liked it.

6. Sit beside someone at services who is struggling with a sin problem. Let him or her know that you are keeping him/her in prayer.

7. Have a ladies prayer group meeting in your home and just pray, pray, for the sanctification of the body.

8. If your congregation is one which does not practice the withdrawal of I Corinthians 5, go to your elders, or humbly ask your husband if he would be willing to go to them and meekly ask them to help you win back those who are in sin by faithfully practicing this command. Godly elders will respond well to a kind spirit of obedience.

9. Purchase a book about future church leadership to give to one or more boys in your congregation to help insure faithful leadership for the sanctified body in the year 2035. This could be a gift that keeps on giving!

10. Read Galatians 6:1 and decide another approach you will take this month to try and restore the one who is overtaken. Remember to wear the spirit of meekness.

One final note. I began this month by having a serious discussion with Sister A in Congregation X, who just cannot bring herself to be friendly with Sister B. Due to some real or imagined injustices of the past, Sister A will actually move away from me if Sister B walks up to converse with me. As I think about our study of I Peter this month and the suffering of sanctification, I am saddened that anyone, having been cleansed by the sacrifice of the cross can be so brazen as to reject the relationship offered to us in Jesus without being willing to even sit down and discuss the breach of fellowship between sisters. I challenged Sister A to go home and read the bottom of Romans 12 and just see if she could fit her behavior into that chapter in any way. Even if Sister B is her enemy, there is certainly a prescription in Romans 12 for how to respond to ill-treatment and that prescription is NOT to stop speaking to an enemy. I told Sister A that I would be praying for her as she re-evaluates this conscious decision to avoid a sister.

“You just do not understand,” Sister A said. “I am not going to be mean to her, but I am just not going to put myself out there for her to start being friends with me again and then try to take advantage of me.”

I just had to think about Christ…the one who “put Himself out there”. He put Himself out there in the garden…I mean out there all alone sweating drops as blood. He put Himself out there in that mock trial as Peter was denying Him by that warm fire. He put Himself out there at Golgotha–out there where all the sin of all the ages of all the world was on His bleeding back. He put Himself out there for this body–for this family–in which Sister A can’t put herself out there for Sister B, because she is afraid her “feelings will get hurt again.” Really?

Let’s be about making a step in August to try to restore relationships. Decide you can don the spirit of meekness this month and reach out to restore. Restore your own will to be all about His glory every day. Encourage restoration in a weak sister. Bolster one in your local congregation who is struggling every day to be what God wants her to be. Go to the “Digging Deep for Encouragement” page on Facebook and pray for the sweet souls there who have asked for prayers for strength, for studies being conducted, for healing and for wisdom. If you are willing to share with us your strategies for restoration this month, send me an email or a Facebook message, so that we can encourage each other and share good ideas for helping each other be holy women for Him. Let’s pray that our reach this August will be a reach all the way into eternity. It’s possible though Him!

Are You a Pouter?

imagesDo you ever have evenings at home when you and your husband don’t speak to one another?  Someone’s feelings were miffed because of some slight or some frustrated statement. A few misunderstood statements have been exchanged. Maybe there was no explosion or anger, but still, there’s something in the air between you. You are distant and cool. At least one of you is pouting. Pouting wasn’t likely an effective strategy when you were trying to get your way as a kid. Practiced in adulthood, it’s both ineffective and damaging to relationships.

 My very good friends, Bud and Lucille, were happily married for about thirty-five years. Little did Bud know that night, when he kneeled beside the bed and prayed with Lucille, that she would not awaken in the morning. Following the prayer, he leaned over and kissed her, they exchanged “I love you”s  and went to sleep. It was just a regular night. It was only the next morning when Bud brought Lucille her coffee in bed, that he discovered her spirit had left. He just slowly sat down beside her and said, “Oh Lucille, you’ve gone on and left me.”

 All of our nights should be like this…just regular nights. One day someone will leave someone and we don’t know which regular night it might be. But surely all of us would want it to be a night like this. There is wisdom in the words of Ephesians 4:26: Let not the sun go down on your wrath. I would add: Don’t let the car leave the garage on your wrath. Don’t put the phone receiver down on your wrath. Don’t close an email on your wrath. One day not so long ago I met my  good friend, Cindy, at the hospital moments after her husband had been in a wreck on his way home from work, only to agonize with her as the hospital personnel brought the wedding ring from his finger and gave it to her. From there we went to tell her children that their father had died. It was one of the worst days of my life. Cindy bravely faced the realities and was amazingly strong as we told the children. As tough as things were that day for her, they were not nearly as unbearable as they could have been had there been problems in their relationship as he left the house that morning. But our God shields us, as His children from the biggest pains of life and death. When we are doing life and marriage His way, the biggest of burdens are blessed with peace and hope. Not only do we live prepared for the worst eventuality, but the everyday living is blessed with peace and serenity as well. It takes effort, but daily pout resistance pays big dividends.

A Mother’s Day Card Challenge

I got a Mother’s Day card a few days early this year. But it has encouraged me over and over during the past week. In fact, it was such a blessing to me that I wanted to share it with you.

The front of the card said “Is it true that all daughters become their mothers?” Then I opened it and read this: “I sure hope so. Happy Mother’s Day.”

I have gotten a card much like this from my daughter every year (only Hannah’s are usually pretty funny and a bit sarcastic–I love them!). What is different about this card is that it was not from either of my children. At the bottom of this card was this closing greeting:

To my spiritual mother in Christ–
I’m so thankful for all you have taught me!
Love,
Amber Gilreath

Now, I am humbled by this because while there are lots of worthy spiritual mothers, I’m so flawed–daily flawed–that I have a tough time being the example to my own kids that I want to be, much less to those who could be looking to me from other biological families. The point is, Amber is looking–to me, to ladies in her congregation, to her sweet mother-in-law–for strength and teaching and encouragement. Older women in the body have never had a greater Titus 2:3-5 burden than we do today. There has never been a greater need to strengthen and guide younger women than we find in our churches right now. When I think about the sin they daily face in work places, the cultural expectations to disrespect their husbands and neglect their children, the barrage of materialism and the constant pull of worldliness, I feel for their spirits, worry about their souls, and fear for their children. I know God has challenged older women of 2012 in a very practical way in Titus 2. We are part of the answer to the problems of the kingdom in our day. So why are we falling down on this job of teaching younger women?

I think there are several reasons. One is that, although we are faithful women, we feel unworthy and unqualified to teach. Secondly, we sometimes feel our advice or guidance is not enlisted or welcomed by younger women. Thirdly, we are not the faithful older women described in Titus 2:3 (holy, not false accusers, etc…); thus we truly are unqualified to be teachers.

Whatever the reason for our failure, I hope to challenge older readers to do better at fulfilling Titus 2. While the command to teach does not require us to be public speakers, it does require us to be teachers. It is required–not suggested– and the nature of the teaching is outlined specifically. Truth is, I don’t get to choose whether or not I teach, no matter the difficulty involved, and I don’t get to choose what I teach. It’s all there. Even more sobering, God specifies a dire consequence of our failing to teach. The Word of God will be blasphemed.

I know I have often failed at teaching the “good things.” I have often failed at even living the “good things.” But Amber made me want to try harder. She made me want to encourage others to try harder. So I am sending a card like the one Amber sent to me to an older woman in my life who has impacted me to be a better wife and mother. I hope you will, too. In some small way, we could bless our congregations for their future generations if we could each encourage one older woman to stay the course of teaching the younger women.

The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed (Titus 2:3-5).