Looking Within Archives 2008

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  • Christ All in All (poem) David Buttrum
  • What Price Foolishness?
  • The Fool's Prayer (poem) by Edwin Roland Sill
  • The Spiritual Heart Cries Out Against Immodesty by Margaret Head
  • My Body, My Slave by Rick Liggin
  • If Your Heart was a Book (poem) by Alma Norman

Christ All In All
by David Buttram

"Christ for sickness, Christ for health,
Christ for poverty, Christ for wealth,

Christ for joy, Christ for sorrow
Christ today, and Christ tomorrow,

Christ my life, Christ my light,
Christ for morning, noon, and night,

Christ when all around gives way,
Christ my everlasting stay,

Christ my rest and Christ my food,
Christ above my highest good,

Christ my well beloved, my friend,
Christ my pleasure, without end,

Christ my Saviour, Christ my Lord,
Christ my portion, Christ my God,

Christ my good shepherd, I His sheep,
Christ Himself my soul doth keep,

Christ my leader, Christ my peace,
Christ hath given my soul release,

Christ my righteousness divine,
Christ for me, for He is mine!

Christ my wisdom, Christ my meat,
Christ restores my wandering feet,

Christ my advocate and priest,
Christ who ne'er forgets the least,

Christ my teacher, Christ my guide,
Christ my rock, in Christ I hide,

Christ the everlasting bread,
Christ His precious blood has shed,

Christ has brought me nigh to God,
Christ the everlasting Word,

Christ my master, Christ my head,
Christ who for my sins hath bled,

Christ my glory, Christ my crown,
Christ the plant of great renown,

Christ my comforter on high,
Christ my hope is ever nigh,

Christ is coming in the air,
Christ - Come quickly is my prayer!"

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WHAT PRICE FOOLISHNESS?
author unknown

What some will pay for a moment's reckless folly is recorded again and again in the Book of Ages. Do you think these got their "money's worth?"

Adam and Eve, for one bit of lucious fruit when they were not even hungry, brought sin, suffering, shame and death upon themselves and the human race. (Genesis 3)

Lot's wife, revealing her longing for the things that pertain to the earth, took one look back at Sodom and became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19)

Esau, to satisfy one day's fleshly hunger, lightly esteemed his birthright and forfeited his right to the ancestry of Christ. (Genesis 25)

Achan, for a garment he could not wear, and silver and gold he could not spend, paid with all his possessions, his family and his life. (Joshua 7)

Sampson, for the caress of a hypocritical woman, lost his will, his strength, his liberty, his eyes and finally his life. (Judges 16)

David, to enjoy another man's wife, hands to posterity a tale of his life with adultery, shame, and tears, boldly written for all to read. (2 Samuel 11)

Ahab, coveted another's little vineyard, permitted his wife to have its owner killed, claimed it for his own, and heard his funeral preached in these words: "in the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall the dogs lick thy blood, even thine." (1 Kings 21)

Judas for thirty pieces of silver, which he couldn't find occasion or conscience to use, took his own life in shame and despair. (Matthew 27)

These examples could be multiplied but they are sufficient just here. could these have called back their days after learning their lessons, how differently would have been the history of the world. When we consider the price paid for sin, we must conclude it is not worth it! Surely we do not suppose ourselves smart enough to out-smart God, and get by with sinning an not pay the "wages" of it.

Love is much too pure and holy,
Friendship is too sacred far,
For a moment's reckless folly
Thus to desolate and mar.

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The wise woman builds her house
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. 
Proverbs 14:1

If you have been foolish in
exalting yourself,
Or if you have devised evil,
put your hand on your mouth.
Prov 30:32


THE FOOL'S PRAYER
Edward Rowland Sill

The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

"No pity, Lord, could change the heart
From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin; but, Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

" 'Tis not by guilt, the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
'Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

"These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

"The ill-timed truth we might have kept--
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung!
The words we had not sense to say--
Who knows how grandly it had rung!

"Our faults no tenderness should ask,
The chastening strips must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders--oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

"Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown, the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"

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The Spiritual Heart Cries Out
Against Immodesty
by Margaret Head

It should be impossible for a Christian to see a movie or television program that flaunts scantily clad women without recognizing that Satan is at work, and that he is mockingly winning the "immodesty" battle. The even bigger problem is that it is not just on TV, in the movies and on the streets that the battle is being lost; Satan has lulled us to sleep and we have allowed immodest and inappropriate dress to march, not creep, into our worship assemblies as well.

I recently read a book entitled "The Modest Heart" written by Crystal L. Garza. The author was rightly concerned about how men felt about the modern trends in women's clothing as it pertained to their spirituality. Some of the comments she quoted were shockingly enlightening to me. One such comment was, "Sisters in Christ, you really have no concept of the struggles that guys face on a daily basis. Please, please, please take a higher standard in the ways you dress. True, we men are responsible for our thoughts and actions before the Lord, but it is such a blessing when we know that we can spend time with our sisters in Christ , enjoying their fellowship without having to be constantly on guard against ungodly thoughts brought about by the inappropriate ways they sometimes dress. In 1 Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul presents believers as members of one body - we have to work together. Every Christian has a role to play in the body of Christ. That goal is to bring glory to the Savior through an obedient, unified body of believers - please don't hurt that unity by dressing in ways that may tempt your brothers to stumble" (Age 20).

(He is right! I had no concept of men's struggles concerning how women dress. Women, we need to not only stand in front of our mirrors to see if we are dressed modestly, we need to bend over and observe what the mirror is telling us. Now we can see what others see, not only in front, but behind us.)

And another, "As a Christian guy, modesty is SO attractive. I do not mean attractive in a lustful way, but that to see a girl living out God's standards in her life is really beautiful. And you have no idea how much you would be helping your Christian brothers by being modest" (Age 16)

Another survey conducted by a sister in Christ in another state and by myself yielded the following comments:

1. "Your willingness to address this subject just brought tears of gratitude to my eyes. Each of us approach this subject from different situations, but for me, a single young man, women who dress immodestly is a stumbling block with no end."

2. "Many older women are not setting proper examples for the younger women in the way they dress."

3."Modesty implies moderation between two extremes and the extremes here are overdressing in opulence that incites envy in those less fortunate and under-

dressing in impudence that incites lust in the hearts of men."

4. "Women need to quit blaming men for allowing their minds to think unwholesome thoughts and take their own responsibility to dress modestly. In my judgment this is an area that has been needing correction for a number of years."

5. "Thank you for being concerned about this issue. It has bothered me for some time." This comment from a young lady. I am grateful for her modest heart.

6. "Ask yourself after the last look in the mirror, 'Am I dressed for God and for the Holy Spirit who dwell in me'?"

7. "I am seeing way too much from low cut dresses and too short dresses to the point I must frequently divert my eyes." This from a mature, Godly, teacher of the Word.

8. "If the mind is set on serving and pleasing God - appearance will follow in dressing as one who is a representative of the Father."


From the above quotes we fully understand a low cut shirt, blouse or dress, tight fitting clothing and clothing that is too short is an eye magnet for men. One young Christian man's opinion is that a woman's clothing would be least immodest if it did not reveal anything below the collar bone and hemlines did not come above the knee.

Older women are to train the young women to be self-controlled and chaste, pure. (Titus 2:5). (I have been negligent in doing this. I would encourage other older women to give adequate time to teaching younger women concerning this subject. We must be careful not to be among those "whose oil is gone before the Master comes.")

    The American Standard uses the word chaste in the above passage, and the NIV uses pure. Chaste in the Greek is hagnos which means, according to Strong's, "properly clean, that is, (figuratively) innocent, modest, perfect - chaste, clean, pure." Thayer says, "1) exciting reverence, venerable, sacred 2) pure 2a) pure from carnality, chaste, modest 2b) pure from every fault, immaculate 2c) clean." The idea is 'not polluted with immorality'. Young women must scrupulously avoid any immorality in thought, word, or deed. In other words, in look, in speech, even in dress, they are to be chaste or pure".

It is impossible for older women to teach the younger about immodesty if we wear immodest clothing ourselves. There is a very grave need for older women to be good examples if we are to slow this ungodly, provocative, sensuous trend.

We sin any time our influence (i.e., dress) causes someone else to sin (Matt:5:28) so perhaps we should write 1 Timothy 2:9 on a card and put it on our closet doors. "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety: not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes"(NIV).

"Happy is he that judges (condemns) not himself in that which he approves." Romans 14:22b

Let's ask ourselves, "Where do I draw the line? Does my clothing always reveal a modest heart that protects men from lust and, thence, from sin?"

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:1-2).

"What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, that you examine him every morning and test him every moment?" Job 7:17-18

I welcome your comments.

Margaret Head

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"M y own conviction is this. If many women would learn to be women again, instead of trying to emulate the conduct of crude and profane men; if they would learn to speak, dress, and act like ladies again, instead of portraying the image of foul-mouthed, street-corner prostitutes; if they would return to the biblical norm of femininity, whole new vistas would open to them, which they would discover as wonderful, exciting, and fulfilling.

Modern immodesty has not liberated women; rather, it has enslaved them to lifestyles that have only degraded them, and marred the glorious image their Creator intended them to enjoy."

-Wayne Jackson from article, The Value of Modesty
http://www.christiancourier.com

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Why is it Christian mothers and their daughter, who may dress modestly on a regular basis allow immodest bridal and bridesmaid dresses dresses when the daughter gets married? Why do they think this is one occassion when it is permissible. I don't understand, do you? I'm sure they can find a local bridal shop that sells modest clothing. If not, here are some sites I found:

 


Modesty is bred 
from
self-respect,
respect for others,
and
respect for God. 

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My Body, My Slave
Rick Liggin

In talking to the Corinthian Christians about the importance of self-discipline, the apostle Paul said: "I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified" (1 Cor. 9:27).

When I read this text, the words, "buffet my body and make it my slave" [NASB] grab my attention. This expression suggests a distinction between my body and the real me. Obviously, my body is not the real me. It is only the outer physical shell that houses the real me.

This fact is confirmed in other Bible texts, like Paul's second letter to the Corinthians (4:16-18; 5:1-9). Here Paul tells us that the "outer man" (our mortal body) is decaying day by day, while the "inner man" (the real me) is constantly being renewed (4:16). This "outer man," Paul says, is only an earthly tent that houses the real me (5:1-4).

We note this distinction because of what Paul said about controlling our bodies. The real me must control my body, even if I must "buffet" it to get the job done (9:27)! To "buffet" a person literally is to give him a black eye [Zerwick]; it is to treat him roughly. Metaphorically, it essentially means what we mean today when we speak of "whipping ourselves into shape."

Our text tells us what Paul did to ensure his salvation; and it suggests what we must do as well! We need to "whip our bodies into shape" and make them our slaves, a slave of the real me, the inner, spiritual me! If I'm serious about my own salvation, I need to exercise some rigid self-discipline over my body, and I need to do it no matter how bad it hurts. I must make my body "my slave"! I have to let my body know just who in this relationship is going to control wholly; who the real boss is going to be! And folks, it must be me! I must not allow my body to dictate to me! I must dictate to my body!


Unfortunately, too many of us have this exactly backward! We let our bodies control us! Instead of telling our body what it must do, we let the body tell us what to do! Instead of making "my body my slave," we let our body make us its slave! Instead of controlling the flesh, we indulge the flesh!

Let me tell you: the man who "vents all his feelings" or "always speaks his mind"--that man is letting his body rule him (Prov. 29:11). The guy who gets angry or gets his feelings hurt every time someone looks at him cross ways--that guy's body has made him its slave! The person who says, "I couldn't help it! It felt so good, I just couldn't help myself"--again, that man is one whose body (passion) has taken control of him! In fact, anyone who "can't stop it" or "can't control it" is really just allowing his own body to enslave and rule over him.

"Well, it's my body! I'll do with it what I want to!" Not if you're a Christian, it's not! If you're a Christian, your body now belongs to God! "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body" (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Now that we're Christians, we are "under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh," but to God, to live as He wants (Rom. 8:12). And if it's now God's will that we must do, then we're going to have to stop indulging the flesh and start making our bodies our slaves even if that means we will have to do some serious body buffeting to get it under control!

How serious are you about making sure that you're not somehow disqualified from receiving the incorruptible crown of life (1 Cor. 9:24-27)? If you're really serious about it, then you'd better take steps to get your body under control! Your body cannot control you unless you let it control you! Don't do that! I know it might hurt, but buffet your body and make it your slave, lest possibly, after you have served others, you yourself should be disqualified!

http://www.thinkonthesethings.com

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If Your Heart Was A Book

If your heart was opened
Like a book one could read
Would you worry over something
Like a shameful thought or deed?

Maybe what is found
Would also interest you
You'd see those forgotten things
That were also hidden from you.

If everyone knew that someday
Their inner heart would be revealed
Don't you think they'd live differently
Love and obey God's every will?

God knows the secrets of our hearts
He understands and he cares
He's willing to forgive us of our sins
With his love and grace, he'll gladly share.

With a repentant cleansed heart
God remembers our sins no more
We've been made pure and holy
Ready to serve him forevermore.

Ps. 44:4 "For he knoweth the secrets of the heart."

Author;
Alma Norman
copyrighted 2004

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September/October 2017