Category Archives: Modesty

Issues regarding temperance, supposed offenses, or issues of modesty, in general.

Whacky Wednesday. Groovy Girls of Faith: OTHER Stuff Christians Like

Hi. Welcome.
If you’re here to get your Wednesday funny fix, because Jon Acuff is serious on Wednesdays, thank you for stopping by. Everybody else, I think you’re pretty great too.

hint. I’m now plugging shame-free for this entire paragraph. If you click the Alluring Button (on the top left) you won’t miss anything funny on Wednesday–when you need it most. No funny from Jon on Wednesdays threw me into early onset seasonal depression this year. You too? I feel your pain. So, these Wednesday posts are really just my way to survive. Enjoy.

EXHIBIT A: The Faith Tones.
Bad girls of 1960s Christian Music. Y or N? You decide.

Singing hairdressers for Jesus?

10 Things I LOVE about this album cover:

1. Big 60s hair. The higher the groovier, baby!

2. Healthy (I guess) round faces, like the Campbell’s Soup Kids.

3. Prophetic sense of bowling shirt fashion (as seen below with Lavern and Shirley). (Also could be hairdressing attire. Your guess?).

Lavern and Shirley, behind the times in fashion, compared with the Faith Tones

4. Subtle use of colorful, patterned or floral fashion, 60s hip blouses (under the matching uniform shirt) that says to the cool kids, “We know how to have fun…the way Jesus wants us to.”

5. Good vintage example of how you could be a Christian singer and still have crooked or subpar teeth. (Seriously. I defy you to spot a Christian album cover with an unattractive or crooked-toothed girl on it now, or for the last 20 years.)

6. Almost daring use of the album title, “Jesus Use Me,” and maybe just a hint of double entendré to spice it up for the Christian male audience. The 1960s were a time of sexual experimentation. Not so much in the Christian sphere, but a “clever” or edgy title couldn’t hurt sales. (Remember Stryper, “To Hell with the Devil”?) What do you think, was it purposeful, or just piety shinning through?

7. Girls use high tech (for the time) Stereo enhancement for our listening pleasure. Rock it, out, ladies.

8. The middle girl looks like she knows how to party. Whoot.

9. A vintage reminder that Aqua Net (not flower children) is what held the 1960s together.

BEEHIVE IT, BABY!

10. This shows us that 50 years ago, much like today, music ministry tries too hard, but–sometimes–in a lovable sort of way.

Do you dig this photo?
ANYBODY have audio sample of the faith tones? Please, please, hook me up!
I’d like to hear them.
Golly, I sense some boss three-part harmony a-comin’!

Banqueting Table, Part 2: Thoughts on Genius

I have developed a bit of an old fashion view of “genius”. Roman empire times “old fashion”. “Genius” was a term given to an outside entity of sorts that basically lived in the walls, and helped out with problems and other matters with a “spark of genius,” a kind of superior energy and creativity that had to come through a human vehicle, and come to fruition cooperatively. A person who “had a genius” had to listen to that genius. His brilliant triumphs would not be completely his doing, nor would his failures of genius. Some of the blame or credit was due to the genius. It had a way of keeping people more human I do believe, not puffed up with vanity and hubris, or unduly in despair for a bit of a lazy genius.

Somewhere along the line (I’m guess during the human-centered “reason” and experimentation of the Enlightenment Age) the term genius came to mean “a person who has brilliance”. A deep shift happened, if you noticed. Genius sourced in the person alone. “How advanced and sophisticated,” some might say. But wait. No one could imagine the stress that would put on people, especially highly creative people (think: writers, poets, artists, inventors, innovators, thinkers, etc.) who would now have to be solely responsible for producing genius worthy outcomes, and items, repeatedly.

Ever wonder why genius and madness are so closely tied? I think, that’s part of it. It’s hard to separate the creative aspect from the non creative aspect in a person. It’s hard to not take failure (or success) personally. I do believe it (“genius” or the process of the initiation of the truly great) has something to do with an intertwining, interaction, or crossover point with us and the Divine (our Creator).

A better, and less destructive way to define “genius” is to realize our success and failure is partly our doing, but partly something that comes to us and overshadows us. It’s better to realize the “gift of genius,” which would be not at all personal brilliance that start or ends in an individual, but instead an ability to be aware, receptive, and collaborative with others, and most importantly what must be higher and beyond our ourselves. A “touch of genius” could be said to be when everything involved hits just the right harmonic cord, and something revolutionary is borne, something is unearthed, or a creative act generates new life.

If you were to say, “Lisa, you’re a GENIUS!” I’d smile, and feel flattered for about 2 seconds. Then I’d realized the bigger truth going on. Very little has much to do with me. I’m not a genius, but sometimes I listen and detect better than at other times. To people who’ve heard my thoughts, ideas, or read my papers, they might hear some original thinking, or novel theories, but I really doubt I was the first source for them. At best it was a strange cooperation of experiences, education, preparation, creative exchange and communication, and a touch of something I can’t put my fingers around, and will not attempt to take credit for.

This “invention” pictured here below is a simple example of just a bit of a “touch of genius”. Check it out.

Why is it? It uses resources, readily available, to move beyond their supposed potential for a well-needed purpose. Is it every paper clips destiny? Probably not, but with a “touch of genius” perhaps, a they serve a purpose that is quite helpful and transcends the assumed norm, the typical, or the mundane.

witness a "touch of genius"

photo source

The people of our interactions deserve the same kinds of treatments and communications as these seemingly simple paper clips–At work, play, ministry, home life, social life, and all the rest. It’s the spark of genius, in cooperation with what is above and beyond us, that is needed to produce not what is hoped for or expected, but what is just out of reach, and just beyond our human imaginations. Groups and Communities can link up with “genius” too.

We can only see what’s been done, or what’s right in front of us. “Genius” doesn’t work that way. It’s a way of collaboration, even relinquishment to do the unexpected, even with simple “instruments” to create the extraordinary.

What thoughts do you have about genius?

If this is new to you, or fascinating in some way (positive or negative), please link to this article.

thanks for reading.

Reader Responds with quote (i.e. Lust: an Opportunity)

Karen Moret Harrison wrote:

 “If there is an Enemy of Souls, one thing he cannot abide is the desire for purity. Hence a man’s or woman’s passions become his battleground. The Love of Souls does not prevent this. I was perplexed because it seemed to me He should prevent it, but He doesn’t. He wants us to learn to use our weapons.” ~Elisabeth Elliot

En garde!

It would seem that we must take up armor against attacks that target our weak points, yet use the attacks themselves as God’s inescapable challenges to strengthen ourselves, enrich our dependence on Him, and I dare say,  hone our passions for our best interests, and God’s work.

Thank you for writing, friend! “Allez!”

How about you? Leave your  thoughts and comments, please. 🙂

1st Ethics Paper covers, so to speak, Nipple-gate

I am taking Christian Ethics with Dr. Miller at ETS

Our first assignment due this coming Monday was detailed thus: “Write a brief essay explaining his/her understanding of the relationship between the study of Ethics and ministry. ” 

I’ll include an excerpt of my paper, and how I kept my ethics class abreast of what has come to be known around here as “Nipple-gate”:

 

The entire episode (now termed “Nipplegate,” by some) reflects the ethical dilemma of my vocation. I have a role to play as a writer with a Christian worldview, and I am attempting to minister to Christians and non-Christians. Not everyone will be happy all of the time with what is authored and portrayed at my blog. This is an obvious impossibility. Predilections, doctrines, and convictions vary a great deal within my viewing audience. However, I have an undeniable ethical responsibility to my readership to well-reflect the standards of the God I love and serve. The questions become–what is truly suitable to allow at my site; and where and how must I draw the line that distinguishes personal preferences from God’s standards?

Thus far, I have come to a resolution to make all reasonable efforts to conduct the affairs of my site in excellence, with the hopes that in so doing, it will not make others stumble. (This has always been my philosophy, but in this case, it was botched as I let an aspect of the site remain out of exceptionally close oversight.) My overall method is not foolproof for avoiding every glitch, but it is a deliberate vision for my work.

A bit of perspective is in order too. Not just for the way I think about my work, and the way I offer it up to readers, but for promoting the worldview I believe–in, and of, itself. Yes, each decision we make counts in the big picture, but how much better to see the big picture first, and then zoom in from a bigger view, down, into ordinary life. God, perfect and holy, is our guiding Light. God’s laws and rules do not just give us a guide; they mirror the character of God himself. His perfection is the standard and starting point for our choices. Seen this way, we are better able to make wise and ethical decisions.

That being said, it is the overarching decisions that carry the most import. So when Jesus sums up all the law and the prophets into the Great Commandment2, this is not an annulment of the law, but an encompassing of it. Sometimes in and among the nitpicking decisions and details of our conduct choices– even during our attempts to be righteous–we miss the Great Command altogether. God is marginalized by the rules themselves, and neighbors are trampled more than anything. It seems if the Spirit of the command is upheld, much of the rest can sorted out more easily.

When we attempt to deal in microcosms of various everyday ethical situations, we must not miss the point of the greater good, as God defines it. God defines it in the essence of who he truly is. His nature and character are the basis for our decisions that we must work out in practical and contextual ways. As we bump up against perfection, with our solutions, we come up as less-than-perfect. We inevitably do not meet the standard. Thus, we prove our need for God’s grace and forgiveness, and the grace and forgiveness of those around us. It is failed ethics balanced by applied grace that sustains, and saves us from the ethical ideals we can never attain, but must continually aim for, as they are reflections of Reality itself.

It will be my approach to apply the Great Commandment as the ethical plan in my ministry. As a foundation for my will, thoughts, motives, and deeds, my hope is to strive to keep these things fully loyal to God, the author and finisher of my faith; and to keep his human creation honored. This loyalty will mean laying aside self, and selfish ambition, but not just for the greater good. In reality, I will be attempting to set my life toward the world as is truly is, with God as the source of good, and goodness. This way will also be a light, enacted with those to whom I minister, as it reveals my core beliefs, Christian worldview, and the truth of God as revealed in Scripture.

 



2 Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 

 

 

 

 

 I’d love to hear your reflections on the topic of ethics in ministry, or any related topic I’ve discussed here. Thank you for reading.

-Lisa