Apr 28

Friday Funnies

2006 at 10:44 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Friday Funnies

One of our readers sent us this humorous story, but as we sometimes tell Chad, this one’s for “girls only.”

More “good works” talk next week. And don’t forget to send in a tribute to your mom.

Have a joyous weekend,
Nicole
for Carolyn, Kristin, and Janelle

THE GOOD NAPKINS…ahhhhh…the joys of having girls…

My mother taught me to read when I was four years old (her first mistake)....

One day, I was in the bathroom and noticed one of the cabinet doors was ajar. I read the box in the cabinet. I then asked my mother why she was keeping ‘napkins’ in the bathroom. Didn’t they belong in the kitchen?

Not wanting to burden me with unnecessary facts, she told me that those were for “special occasions” (her second mistake)...

Now, fast forward a few months….It’s Thanksgiving Day, and my folks are leaving to pick up my uncle and his wife for dinner. Mom had assignments for all of us while they were gone. Mine was to set the table.

When they returned, my uncle came in first and immediately burst into laughter.

Next, in came his wife who gasped, then began giggling.

Next, in came my father, who roared with laughter.

Then in came Mom, who almost died of embarrassment when she saw each place setting on the table with a “special occasion” napkin at each plate, with the fork carefully arranged on top. I had even tucked the little tail in so they didn’t hang off the edge!!

My mother asked me why I used these and, of course, my response sent the other adults into further fits of laughter.

“But, Mom, you SAID they were for special occasions!!!”

Apr 28

Washing the Feet of the Saints

2006 at 4:36 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Good Works

“Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.” 1 Timothy 5:9-10

Hmmm…washing the feet of the saints. How do I perform this good work? All of the other good works in this verse seem realistic and doable; but bathing a fellow-Christian’s dirty, smelly feet seems a little outlandish.

Actually, it’s really not all that peculiar. And most likely we are carrying out this good work already. All we need is an explanation of what foot-washing really means in order to know if we are fulfilling this task.

This is where biblical commentators can help us out, and Pastor John MacArthur does just that in his commentary on First Timothy (p. 208). He provides both the context and clarification for a widow having “washed the feet of the saints:”

That menial task was the duty of slaves. Since the roads were either dusty or muddy, guests entering a house had their feet washed. Paul does not necessarily mean that she actually did that herself each time. The menial task of washing the feet spoke metaphorically of humility (Jn. 13:5-17). The requirement, then, stresses that a widow have a humble servant’s heart. She gives her life in lowly service to those in need.

So, we see that “washing the feet of the saints” is a willingness to give ourselves to any menial task that would serve another Christian in need. It could be as simple as what my daughter Janelle did for my other daughter, Kristin, yesterday.

Because all of our husbands have been out-of-town this week at the Together for the Gospel conference, my daughters and I snatched some time “together for fun.” Yesterday morning, we took all of the children out for breakfast and to a park. At one point during our outing—while Kristin was taking Andrew to the restroom—Janelle noticed that Liam needed a diaper change. Now, this was no ordinary messy diaper. It was, shall we say, a blowout. Yet Janelle cheerfully did this dirty job to care for her sister.

I’m sure she thought nothing of it, but through this simple act Janelle was, in fact, “washing the feet of the saints.” That’s the idea behind this particular good work. It involves doing the humblest, most menial, and sometimes even downright dirty tasks in service of others. It could be making a bed for a person who is ill or scrubbing toilets for a woman with an extra-heavy workload, or changing a diaper to help out a mother with small children.

We should never think we are above doing these “foot-washing” kind of jobs. Neither should we underestimate their significance. Even the grubbiest of tasks are holy, if done for the glory of Jesus Christ. After all, didn’t our Savior Himself stoop to wash the feet of his disciples? We should consider it an honor to do dirty jobs for Him.

Apr 27

Showing Hospitality

2006 at 5:46 pm   |   by Kristin Chesemore Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Good Works

“Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.” 1 Timothy 5:9-10

A picture is sometimes worth a thousand words, and so is a real-life illustration. To consider our second good work of hospitality, I want to share the following story from Edith Schaeffer’s life, found in her book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

“There was a railroad running through the town, Grove City, where Fran [Edith’s husband, Francis Schaeffer] was pastor after he graduated from Seminary. Often hobos or tramps—rather derelict-looking older men, unshaven and ragged of clothing, who traveled by riding on the bottom of freight cars, or hidden inside an empty one—came to our back door asking, “Cup of coffee, ma’am, and maybe some bread?”
“Wait a minute,” I’d reply, “just sit down there, I’ll fix you something.” It was too dangerous to invite such a stranger in, alone with small children; but it would have been wrong to send him away.
I would get out a tray, put the kettle on, and look in the fridge for some left-over soup. Into a small pan would go the soup, with the gas on under it. I would cut bread, enough for two big sandwiches (not too thin, he’ll be hungry) and wonder what sort of a home he had had when he was a little boy—and wonder who he is, or whether maybe he is an angel in disguise!.... A diagonal cut through the first sandwich showed red tomato and green lettuce attractively displayed in the slash. The walnuts crunched as the knife went diagonally through the second sandwich. Alternating these four triangles on a lovely dinner plate came next, with pickle trim on one, and parsley on the other. Now for the steaming hot soup left over from our lunch. I would put a good bowl of this on the tray, and the children would help me fix a tiny bouquet of flowers nested in an ivy leaf.
“What’ll he think of all that, Mummy?” Priscilla would ask with big, wondering eyes.
“Well, perhaps he’ll remember something in his past—perhaps he had a very nice home once, where he had meals prepared for him. Anyway, he’ll stop and think, and we’ll give him this little Gospel of John to read while he is eating. He can take it away with him and, who knows, perhaps he’ll do a lot of thinking, and some day, believe. Anyway, he may realize we care something about him as a person, and that’s important.”
Priscilla would hold the screen door open as I took it out, and watch his surprised face as he saw the tray.
“For me? Is this for me?”
“Yes, and the coffee will be ready in a minute, eat the soup first. This Gospel is for you, too. Take it with you. It really is very important.”
All this for a tramp? Flower arrangements for a tramp on a rainy day? Why? Is it worth it? Is it just romantic? Does he even notice? If the Bible is true, this is the way to be doing something “unto Jesus”, and at times perhaps to entertain an angel.”
“What a waste of time!” some might remark. But the ‘waste’ is what brings forth the most amazing results, many of which are hidden from us in this life.” (Taken from Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer. Copyright © 1977 by Tyndale House Publishers. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Now, I’m no Edith Schaeffer. Not even close. And with sharing this story, I’m definitely not encouraging any woman to offer a strange man hospitality when you are alone. Mrs. Schaeffer’s illustration takes place in a different time and age.

However, I am inspired by her story. I’m inspired to show hospitality as an extension of my husband’s ministry. I’m inspired to open my home to those who need to hear the gospel. And I’m inspired to put in the extra effort to make my meals attractive and tasty. Not because it’s romantic or sentimental—as Mrs. Schaeffer points out—but because it can bring glory to the gospel. For this reason, I want to follow Mrs. Schaeffer’s example and excel in the good work of hospitality. I hope you’re inspired by her story too.

Apr 26

Bringing Up Children

2006 at 2:12 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Good Works

“Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.” 1 Timothy 5:9-10

As we continue our series on good works, you may be wondering why the youngest daughter with only one baby is covering the point about “bringing up children”. I was actually wondering the same thing myself, and so I checked in with Mom for some clarity. I received a most helpful explanation. This “bringing up children” thing is not just for those with biological children. This command found in 1 Timothy applies to ALL women. The Greek word used in this phrase implies cherishing, nurturing, and the giving of personal attention. We do not have to give birth to our own child to fulfill this good work. In fact, several of the commentaries I studied on this passage referenced women taking in orphans. (It was common in that culture for unwanted children to be sold into slavery or abandoned altogether.) This clearly illustrates that this command is applicable beyond caring for one’s own children.

Fast forward to right now. How can we put this good work into practice in our varying seasons of life?

For moms, we have instant application. You are to cherish and nurture those kiddos under your very own roof. But there may be other children God would have you give personal attention to: an un-churched neighborhood kid, or the child of a single parent in your church, or nieces and nephews. Some of you may even be called to take in foster children or adopt an orphan.

If you are a teen or single woman, consider babysitting. For most of my teen and college years I babysat my little brother and four cousins once a week so that my parents and uncle and aunt could get some time alone. These kids are all grown up now and babysitting others, but we share many fond memories of our times together. Beyond babysitting, think about serving in your church’s children’s ministry or even sponsoring a child through a trustworthy mission organization. By volunteering at a local crisis pregnancy center you can help rescue the unwanted children in our culture today.

Finally, for those of you with grown children, may I throw something out to you? How about applying this verse by mentoring some of us young girls who have no idea what we are doing? I would be lost in this motherhood job right now if it wasn’t for my mom and her practical wisdom and care. Whether advising me on scheduling or just holding Caly so that I can nap, she’s still practicing this good work of nurturing children. (Thanks, Mom!)

Do you see the broad application contained in this verse? Nurturing the next generation is an exceedingly important good work that ALL women are called to fulfill. Maybe that’s why it’s first on the list.

Apr 25

What’s Your Reputation?

2006 at 5:06 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Good Works

What one word best describes your perception of the following women?

BalllucilleLucille Ball



Motherteresa03Mother Teresa



Images5Rosa Parks



MadonnaMadonna


Michelle_2Michelle Kwan


Images4Gloria Steinem

Now, whether your depiction was favorable or unfavorable, the common feature of all of these women is that they have a reputation. And though we may never have given it much thought, we do too.

So what are we known for? How would our family and friends describe us?

Scripture has already defined what a godly woman’s reputation is to be. As Nicole pointed out yesterday from 1 Timothy 2:9-10, we are to be known for our good works. And what is so helpful, the first epistle to Timothy goes on to provide an actual list of good works to which we are to be devoted. We find this list in 1 Timothy 5:9-10:

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.

This verse explains which widows are eligible to receive help and care from the church if they have no other means of support. Now if you are not a widow who is sixty years of age or older, you may be wondering how this verse applies to you. Consider for a moment: If a sixty-something widow is to have a reputation for the good works found in this passage, then she must have been giving herself to them when she was young. Wouldn’t you agree?!

So regardless of our age or our marital status, let’s see to it that we are working on our good works! Let’s make for ourselves a reputation for…

  • Bringing up children
  • Showing hospitality
  • Washing the feet of the saints
  • Caring for the afflicted
  • Devoting ourselves to every good work

We will spend the next few days considering how we can excel in these good works.

Apr 25

A GirlTalk Mother’s Day

2006 at 10:40 am   |   by Janelle Bradshaw

It has been far too long since we have had a contest here at girltalk. So, we have conspired, and I think we have come up with an idea that will prove to be both provoking and inspiring. With Mother’s Day just around the corner we thought that it would be fun to have daughters submit tributes in honor of their moms. We will choose some of our favorites and post them during the week leading up to the big day.

Now, daughters, we are looking for moms of all ages here, so don’t dismiss this contest just cuz you are grown up already. We also want to be able to surprise your mom, so if you and mom are under the same roof, try and e-mail us in such a way that she doesn’t catch on.

Daughters, time to start writing. Tell us what you respect and appreciate about your mom. We would love a picture if possible. Just click on the “Email me” link on the left-hand sidebar. The deadline for these tributes is Friday, May 5th.

Apr 24

A Godly Woman’s Fashion Statement

2006 at 11:43 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Good Works

We’ve spent the past two weeks learning that women should dress modestly, yet attractively, and should not dress seductively or ostentatiously.

However, there is one more wardrobe essential found in 1 Timothy 2:9-10. It’s a fashion accessory a godly woman simply can’t do without. Did you notice it? “Women should adorn themselves…with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works” (emphasis mine).

What is appropriate, fitting adornment for the woman who has been rescued from sin and brought into the kingdom of God? Good works.

Now, by good works, Paul doesn’t mean actions that make us acceptable to God. We are only able to stand before God because of the righteousness of Christ. Rather, these good works are what Jerry Bridges calls, “deliberate deeds that are helpful to others.” (The Practice of Godliness, p. 232)

They are acts of kindness that are evidence of our salvation.

And these good works are not optional for the godly woman. They are essential.

So here are a couple of questions to consider (thanks to my dad):

Which do you think about more—shopping or good works?
What are you most noticed for—what you wear or your kind deeds?
What is most eye-catching about you—your clothing or your character?

You see, instead of seeking to garner attention and praise for her physical body, as the immodest girl does, the woman who is devoted to good works reflects glory back to God.

As John Stott explains, “It is when people see these good works that they will glorify God, for they embody the good news of his love which we proclaim.” (The Message of the Sermon on the Mount, p. 62)

Now we haven’t been left to guess what good works we are supposed to do. God has already given us a “to do list.” And tomorrow, we’ll check it out.

Apr 21

Friday Funnies

2006 at 10:01 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Friday Funnies

We all agreed that we couldn’t close out this week without sincerely thanking you for flooding our inbox with emails of encouragement and gratitude for our recent discussion on “Fashion and Following the Savior.” Your desire to commend the glorious gospel through modest dress his been touching and thrilling to behold!

So it is with hearts full of gratitude and respect that we now leave you with our Friday Funnies. This one was sent to me by my friend, Charlotte. It has nothing to do with the topic of modesty, but hopefully it will bring a smile to your face.

With gratefulness,
Carolyn
for Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle

HOW TO TELL THE GENDER OF A BIRD

This Is AMAZING!!!

Until now I never fully understood how to tell the difference between male and female birds.

Until Now.

Which of The Two Birds Is a Female???

Below are Two Birds. Study them closely…

See If You Can Spot Which of The Two Is The Female.

It can be done.

Even with limited bird watching skills.

Att00078_1






(If this image isn’t moving, double-click to view animation.)

Apr 21

Before we move on…

2006 at 9:25 am   |   by Kristin Chesemore Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Modesty

...we want to recommend two resources for further study on this crucial topic of modesty:

1. “The Soul of Modesty” by CJ Mahaney—this sermon was the basis for our “Fashion and Following the Savior” series. As usual, Dad says it better than we can. So listen to it for yourself.

2. The Look: Does God Really Care What I Wear? by Nancy Leigh DeMoss—this little booklet is a wonderful tool to help you study God’s Word on this topic. It’s full of quotes, charts, and discussion questions.

Apr 21

Fashion and Following the Savior, Pt. 7

2006 at 9:07 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Modesty

161642_shoe_for_fun_7Well, it’s time to conclude our two-week discussion on “Fashion and Following the Savior.” Your enthusiastic response to this generally unpopular topic is reflective of your love for Christ. So far, we’ve talked about the attitude of the modest woman and the appearance of the modest woman. Today we come to our final point: the allegiance of the modest woman.

This final point gets to the question of why do we make such a big deal about modesty? Is it because we’re conservative or moral people? Is it because we have personal preferences about how women should dress?

No. The reason is the gospel. Modesty is important because of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That is why Paul is concerned about modesty and that is why we should be concerned about modesty as well. For when we take a broader look at 1 Timothy 2, we discover that these instructions about women’s dress are set in the context of the gospel.

1 Timothy 2:3-6 says,

“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”

The gospel message is our motivation for modest dress. As my dad explains: “The woman who loves the Savior avoids immodesty because she doesn’t want to distract from or reflect poorly upon the gospel.” John Stott puts it like this: “Paul’s over-riding concern was that the way Christians deported themselves would not detract from but enhance their gospel mission.”

We have a gospel mission: not only to preach Christ, but to live in a way consistent with our profession of faith. For how can we preach the good news of the transforming work of our Savior if our dress does not reflect His power at work in us?

May there be no contradiction between our gospel message and the clothes we wear. And may our modest dress be a witness to the One who gave Himself as a ransom for all.

That is the big deal about modesty.