|"NJ Winter Ice Storm"|
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
"Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you're alive, it isn't."I'm not done yet!
When I got home and looked at the cross again, I wondered what it meant. I thought of Jesus triumph over death and man's persecution. The standing cross doesn't hold Him now. He's in our hearts, praying for us at God's throne. He conquered death and triumphed over the grave. So I smiled at the sideways cross, "Yes, Jesus is free. He is Lord now. My Savior, Redeemer, Friend."
The cross couldn't keep Him, nor the tomb. Then my husband came into my workroom and asked, "What does the sideways cross mean?"
I felt uncomfortable, "Jewelry designers got bored and thought it would be cute to make it go sideways?"
Part of my faith is to represent Him with others. How much confusion would it cause? I remembered our testimony is in our hearts and actions. Am I a quiet and gentle spirit who ministers? Or just a noisy gong and clanging cymbal out to show off. Truth is, God looks at our hearts. That's where He defines us as Christians. Faith.
Someone told me once it's horrible to wear a symbol of torture on a necklace. If it offends maybe It's not that necessary. So I quit wearing crosses at all. I'd rather share His love and hear people ask why I would do that. Besides every single necklace I had with a cross on it got tangled up and knotted in my jewelry box...
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.Am I a light in the darkness? Or a bucket of water trying to squelch enthusiasm? I found some verses about how we should dress. It really can be a gray area. Styles have changed over time. If we went grocery shopping today in a hooded cape, I'm thinking we might be sent out the door. When I worked at The Boeing Company in Seattle, a man said he was hungry. So I gave him one of my granola bars. He loudly asked why I would do that. So... I got to say, "I am a Christian. It's what we do." In front of a whole bunch of engineers and programmers. It wasn't socially acceptable. But everyone loved it : )
(Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)
Timothy said this:
8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
I don't think I've ever seen anyone in public praying like this today. We do when we sing at Church. Sadly, I don't think it would be respected. In the days that Jesus walked among us lots of people prayed outside. Some just wanted to show off their spirituality. The disciple Matthew, wrote that we should go inside the house to pray. The key is to pray, looks like any way is good. God loves to hear our prayers.
Matthew said this:
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,
(Matthew 6:6-7 NKJV)
We do wear jewelry. I don't know that it is a problem if it's respectable. We have lots of "bling" in New Jersey. Some people wear giant gold necklaces and lots of sparkle. Once at the beach, I saw a woman walking on the sand in a black dress, high heals and gold chains. I was afraid she might sink in the sand and get stuck. I also worry about young women. With cell phone photos and no real boundaries being taught about sex. It's important for them to learn how to be safe. It frightens me to think of teenage boys with no boundaries. Thankfully there are still some great parents out there. What girls wear does matter. I was a teenager in the 70's, I know. Oy! The hair though... (blush)
Seriously, I'm sure people have worried about young women since the beginning of time. And yes modesty on women of any age is always a good thing : ) You do not want to see me in a mini skirt! Trust me.
10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self.
Mary Magdalene was the first to tell Peter, Jesus had risen from the dead. She was the first to see the risen Savior. So clearly the Lord doesn't want women to never speak. I think Timothy's concern was in building a new Church with confused new Christians. Women were separated in the Synagogues. It would be a difficult transition for men to see them. Also, I am a woman. I am married. I do talk more than my husband...
Enough said : ) I have no desire to be a Pastor. I believe the Pastoral calling is between God and the individual. It's not an easy job. Remember Moses?
(1 Timothy 2:8-15 NKJV)
Feel free to share your thoughts in Comments too. I'd love to hear what you think on this stuff.
This is a cute song by Ellie Holcomb, The Broken Beautiful (link)