May 25, 2017

Issacharian Daughters – ID042

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Dear Girls,

Here is a lovely note from an older woman who receives the Issacharian Daughter’s newsletter:

Dear sweet Genevieve,

I have been meaning to write to you and after I read the most recent Issacharian Newsletter, it prompted me to write even more! First off I want to say how blessed I am, yes, ME, a 54 year old mom of seven children by your newsletters. I have quoted them often and even forwarded them to the young/even older women that I am privileged to mentor. I even wrote the quote from Frances Havergal in my Bible and current prayer book.

“God’s will IS delicious and He makes no mistakes!!!! Ahhh, this is so abundantly true in my life!!! Not that HE blesses me with all of my selfish wants, but He is so faithful, gracious and loving to me that I truly am delighted in Him and know that He will provide and care for whatever is best for me/husband and my children’s lives.

I want to encourage all the older women that are blessed to receive your newsletters that when they reach out and minister (to the younger generation) they too will learn and grow so much in the Lord by these friendships! I have been ministered to (many times over) by the younger women that I mentor and thus the blessings go both ways. We are never too old to learn new things, ideas or attributes of the Lord. I always tell the women that I mentor that because of my age the Lord has graciously blessed me with life experiences (which could be translated as wisdom I guess?) 🙂 that I can share. But it is these younger women whose hearts are so tender towards the Lord that encourage me to go even deeper with the Lord and look at Him in even different ways.

I once read a book by a home schooling mom with ten children. She mentioned one little thing that has stuck with me for years and that is that the generation of children today are living in a world that is a whole lot different than the one I was raised. In light of these circumstances that might mean that their music may not necessarily be my type of music. Or their forms of worship may be different than mine sometimes. But their fervor and passion to follow after Christ can be just as sincere and authentic as an older person in the Lord, but it is being expressed in different ways. I think we parents get caught up in anything that is different than us and we feel threatened by the changes, but we must realize that God does not need clones of us. If we trust Him, He will mold and shape our children “in the way that He would have them go” (Proverb 22:6, paraphrased) to be equipped to ministered to this desperately hurting world. I have applied this concept in the rearing of my seven children and every one of them from 29 years on down to age 10 has a loving heart eager to obey and serve the Lord in the capacity that He has fashioned for their lives.

Well that is just my two cents worth that I wanted to share with you………….. 🙂 Keep on encouraging the older women to reach out and just “love on” these young (and even sometimes older) women of today. Their hearts are so anxious to grow in the ways of the Lord!

Again, a BIG hug from the USA to you Genevieve and also a HUGE thank you for all your hard work on the newsletter!!

Much love, Mrs. McIntire (Colorado Springs, CO)

The next newsletter is attached as a pdf and the text follows this note.Regards,GenevieveMonday, 11 June 2007

Dear Girls,

Purity

In 2003 Dad and Mum were asked to lead the studies at a youth camp. My family avoids youth oriented activities as we like to encourage family discipleship and the strengthening of family relationships. However, when my parents were asked, they responded by saying that they did have a message they would like to share with the youth of our church, and that message was one of purity. The organizers were thrilled, and my parents were booked in! Their messages were very well received and prompted one young woman to write this review of what my parents taught. The following is really much more than a review. It contains personal reflection and application and is a great summary of how purity applies in various areas of our lives. Here it is:

Introduction Recently I attended a weekend youth camp. The topic for the studies was purity led by Craig and Barbara Smith. The first thing that jumped into my mind when I read the topic on the camp enrolment form was, yeah purity, you know, no problems, I’m sexually pure, I don’t have a boyfriend, so it’s not really an issue. Well, I can tell you, I’m eating my words on that one.

The Studies We started the studies off with Purity: Application To All of Life. To what are we called? Basically we travelled through the New Testament looking at verses that focused on the inward and outward call to piety, such as Romans 2:28-29 A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly, and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not of men, but from God. While this verse is speaking of Jews and their relationship to outward signs, we can take from it that we are not to be Christians only on the outside, having a showy piety, but our piety is to be from the inside out, wanting to serve God not because we want to be seen doing all the right things, but because we truly desire to serve God and want to live life His way. Another couple of verses that really struck me in this study were Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my dear friend, as you have always obeyed ??not only in my presence but now much more in my absence ??continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose and 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. These tell us that we can’t just reach a point in our life where we are doing everything right, and plateau there. We are to work out our salvation; we are to be transformed into His likeness. This denotes that we are continually striving upward and onward. And like walking up a steep hill, (I’m thinking of the tramps up the Tararua ranges here) [mountain ranges in the North Island of New Zealand ??Ed] the going gets tough, you get tired and want to turn around, or at least stop and take a break for a while. We get tired of having to be pure: we think, well this or that TV show isn’t that bad, it only has a few loose morals, it’s all fiction. We think, I’m going to wear the latest fashions, I look good in them, and if it is a bit tight, well, the guys shouldn’t be looking at me anyway. It is a continual struggle to maintain Biblical standards. We must be actively involved in our Christian life ??as Luke 11:23 says He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me, scatters. Being actively involved means that it will incur suffering and affliction. We will be mocked and be called names; but hey, that’s part of the battle. We in the midst of this are called to be shining lights set on the hill; we are called to resist, called to submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you James 4:7. By actively resisting the devil, we take a proactive stance in applying purity to our daily lives.

Specifically for us Girls Applying purity to our daily lives, however, goes deeper than just the surface. On the Saturday night we split into segregated groups. Us girls went with Mrs Smith upstairs while the boys stayed downstairs with Mr Smith. I can’t comment on what they were told, but I can state for a fact that if the talk they had was anything like ours, it was inspiring, challenging and left a lot of thoughts embedded upon brains.

Emotional Purity The main thrust I felt from Mrs Smith’s talk with us was on emotional purity. Us girls all know how easy it is, when we just get one conversation or what we deem to be a special smile from that one guy at church/youth group/work, to start planning colour schemes for weddings and trying to decide which of our youngest cousins would best suit the flower girl’s role! Basically, this is wrong with a capital W. It is tantamount to emotional fornication. The Bible says in relation to men in Matthew 5:28 Anyone who looks at a women lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Isn’t this what we are doing as well girls? We’re coveting that which is not ours and may never be ours. We need to protect ourselves from our emotions, and in doing this, we are protecting our brothers and our fellow sisters who will one day be their wives. The first and foremost way we can do this is to develop a vital relationship with God through prayer, Bible reading and just spending time with God in mediation. Learn scripture, and as Philippians 4:11 says, Learn to be content in whatever circumstance. Once we are content in our single state, then we can move on towards being all that we can be for God and His service.

In protection of our emotions the phrase??attention towards all and intention towards none’ was given. This phrase sounds great, but in application may be a lot harder for us to carry out, basically due to our human nature: we like having attention given to us and returning it.??Attention towards all’ means that we don’t single one guy out for special attention. Play group games, engage in group conversation, enjoy time with our brothers in Christ, but don’t single one out for that special attention we should not really be giving him. We all like the special feeling when a guy is paying us one-on-one attention, but, in guarding ourselves, we also shouldn’t give opportunity for intense one-on-one sharing at an emotional level to take place. Sharing is all good and fine ??we share each other’s burdens during prayer time at youth group, we share in each other’s joys when something exciting happens. But it is the intense emotional bonding ??stuff that you would usually only share with your mother, sister or closest girlfriend that I felt we were and are talking about here. While guys might have a tough exterior, it is great to feel protected and have them attentive when you’re talking to them about stuff ??I know, I’m just as guilty as the rest here, and I now have to make a conscious effort to change my ways and not allow conversations to get too personal. One way to combat this is to just limit time alone with guys. Stay if at all possible in a group setting ??don’t allow the devil opportunity to tempt you or the guys. Let the young men in the youth group know that these are what the girls want as boundaries ??could they help honour that commitment. If you have a friendship with a guy, almost like an older brother relationship, make sure you both know that that’s all it is. Double check yourself. If he turned up tomorrow with a girlfriend, would you be embracing her as a sister or feeling slighted and upset ??you’d thought you meant more to him than that. While I’ve just said avoid one-to-one conversations with guys on personal topics, perhaps in your own personal situation you need to clarify to him your feelings ??acknowledge the potential for hurt, and be straight up ??if I start feeling this way towards you, this is what I’m going to do. Another thing I have found helpful personally is praying for my brothers’ future wives. These women are going to be blessed with Godly young men, and I want my brothers to be blessed with Godly young women I can embrace as sisters. This goes for my biological brothers and my spiritual brothers.

Another thing that comes across with the??attention towards all and intention towards none’ is the fact that recreational dating is unnecessary and in fact harmful. Each of these relationships, which when you start dating at say age 15 (because you are not mature enough at that age for marriage) will in most cases break off after a number of weeks or months. This toughens the person up so that in the next relationship they give less of themselves. Likened to a piece of sticky tape that gets handled by half a dozen people before settling onto a piece of paper, it doesn’t stick as well. If I’ve had half a dozen??relationships’ in which I gave myself emotionally, if not somewhat physically ??I’m talking prolonged hugs, kissing, etc., ??then I’m not going to be as sticky when I finally settle on my husband, and he’s not going to be as sticky when he finally settles on me. In an ideal situation, a young man and woman get to know each other in a group setting, and the young man approaches the girl’s father, or if the girl’s father is not in the picture, then mother, and asks if he can get to know their daughter with the intention of marriage. Then the??intention towards none’ becomes??intention towards one’. This may seem old fashioned, and perhaps rightly so. It happened this way in Biblical times; back then they even had arranged marriages. Our parents can often see more clearly than us who tend to wear the rose-coloured spectacles of what we call love. Wouldn’t it be a beautiful world if we would only emotionally bond with heart and affections to the one we were to marry!

Media Purity

Emotional purity means more than just guarding our own heart in one-to-one contact with the other sex. We need to be wise in what we read and watch as well. The movies we see and the books we read definitely colour our view of romance ??and not always in the right way. Yes, you say, but I read Christian romance, they’re all right, aren’t they? That is all good and well in small doses, and good on you for reading Christian fiction, but remember, it is fiction. In reality, it doesn’t happen like that. A friend once said to me,??Girl, you need to stop reading those, you’re getting all gushy. ?? After this weekend I even feel challenged to get rid of my collection. While I won’t be going that far ??I have made a personal pledge to read no romance novels or anything related to that genre for a period of time. I’m going to stick to biography and autobiography and books that will build up my spiritual walk with Christ. For me this also applies to television. Watch what you’re watching. Don’t be afraid to turn it off, walk out of that movie or close that book and find something else to do.

Purity in Dress

For me the other big issue with emotional purity is our purity of dress. We get told again and again by the world; if you’ve got it, flaunt it. If you want to dress that way, fine ??the men should be self-controlled. But it doesn’t boil down to their self-control. Our self-control and self-sacrifice is at stake here as well. Our self-sacrifice in being willing to dress non-conformingly to the world, our self-control in dressing modestly, our self-conscious effort not to put our brothers at risk. It is a fact of life, men are made up differently than we are, they are more physical, and will be turned on by what a women does or in most cases does not put on. I plead with parents…tell us that we aren’t allowed to wear it. It may result in tears and arguments, but in the long run, we will thank you for it. Say no ??both as a parent and a daughter ??to tops that leave glimpses of cleavage, a midriff, too-short skirts or shorts that leave little or nothing to the imagination. Each household will have their own guidelines, but the Bible states very clearly in 1 Timothy 2:9 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A modest dress along with a sense of self that isn’t flaunted, will not only ensure your own heart as a female is protected but also the men in the church are protected from unnecessary temptation. They should be able to come to church and worship God without having to worry about being distracted by formfitting and figure-hugging tops, tops that show midriffs, and tight pants, skirts or dresses. As women dressed to worship our Lord and Creator, we should adorn ourselves with His Spirit rather than with the latest worldly fashions that show off our figures to an advantage. I am not saying dress like an old fishwife, in loose rages. I am the first to admit, I like tailored blouses. I don’t like skirts that look like a sack of spuds hanging on me, but we are all aware and know in ourselves the difference between tailored and trashy. We know when something is that extra bit form-fitting, and if in doubt, ask your parents or older/younger brother. My brother now knows that I will ask him what he thinks if I’m a bit unsure, and if you’re unsure, it is better to be safe than sorry. Go for the extra little bit conservative rather than the extra little bit flashy. You would not want your younger sister to be leered at by some guy because of what she was wearing, and you wouldn’t be comfortable with one of your brothers leering at another sister in Christ because of what she happened to be wearing. So in what we wear, let it be up-building. Let it be our ??inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet sprit, which is of great worth in God’s sight ?? 1 Peter 3:4 that adorns us as women.

Conclusion So, as we came to the end of the weekend, there was obviously something learnt, and some people were already taking to heart and changing something in each of their lives, as we were all challenged to do. Some of the young men started to stand up for the young ladies when they sat down at the table or rose to leave. At first it was disconcerting, most of us were not used to it, and wondered, why on earth? We felt that we could just sit down without them interrupting their conversations to stand up to acknowledge our presence. While not everyone did this, and it was not required, it was a personal thing, each to his or her own way of expression. As the camp drew to a close, I found that it was actually kind of nice, a sort of old fashioned, if you will, tradition that just recognises femininity and masculinity. And it is in these Biblical, traditional roles of femininity and masculinity that I believe we will find the examples of true purity, the way to develop physical and emotional purity and most important of all in the Bible is found the way to be??born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring world of God. ?? 1 Peter 1:23

References The thoughts and ideas contained in this article come from these sources: ? The studies prepared by Craig and Barbara Smith for the youth camp. ? I kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. Available through most Christian bookstores. ? Emotional Purity: An affair of the Heart by Heather Arnel Paulsen. Available in New Zealand or Australia through Genevieve Smith (genevieve@hef.org.nz) or in the USA from Vision Forum (www.visionforum.comFor the Greater Glory of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,Genevieve SmithIssacharian DaughterLocations of visitors to this page

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