Saturday, March 13, 2010

Complete in Thee

Complete in Thee! no work of mine
Could take, dear Lord, the place of Thine;
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And now I stand complete in Thee.

Yea, justified! O blessed thought!
And sanctified! Salvation wrought!
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And glorified, I too, shall be!

Complete in Thee - each want supplied,
And no good thing to me denied;
Since Thou my portion, Lord, wilt be,
I ask no more, complete in Thee.

Complete in Thee! No more shall sin,
Thy grace hath conquered, reign within.
Thy voice shall bid the temptor flee,
And I shall stand complete in Thee.

Dear Saviour! when before Thy bar
All tribes and tongues assembled are,
Among Thy chosen I shall be,
At Thy right hand, complete in Thee.

Author, Aaron R. Wolfe 1821-1902
Refrain, James M. Gray 1851-1935

Thursday, March 11, 2010

On dancing.

Now let me begin by saying I'm a born and bred, independent, fundamental Baptist-to-the-bone, and I'm as conservative as they come. No, more so. But before I'm any of that, I am a Bible Believer, a follower of Jesus Christ. So as I read in my Bible, sometimes I come across passages that make me reconsider things I heard or thought as I was growing up. One of those things is that all dancing is sinful. In fact, a joke among us when anyone moves with a flourish is to say, "We're Baptist. We don't dance."

I was reading on a forum where someone asked advice about how to train their children, mentioning as a specific example, when to get them to stop dancing to music. I think people in my camp have been rather overreactive (made that word up) about dancing, thinking that all dancing is inherently wrong. Now there is no doubt that some types of dancing are sinful. But do we toss out all dancing because of that?

Reading the Bible, I see Miriam and the other women of Israel dancing for joy when God miraculously delivered them all from being slaughtered by the Egyptian army. I see David's exuberant dance before the Lord when the ark of the covenant was returned. There have been times in my life when I was fairly bursting to dance for joy a la Fraulein Maria in the Austrian Alps!

With children, I daresay it is well nigh impossible to squelch the dance out of them. Little ones naturally respond to music, and I encourage that because they are developing their sense of rhythm and timing, for one thing. But more importantly, they are learning to be joyful! Someday their understanding will awaken, and their joy-dances will be unto the Lord, and not simply a reaction to good music.

Speaking of good music, I've noticed that the way babies move their bodies is directly related to the type of music they are hearing. Melodious music causes them to make graceful, sweeping motions. Light-hearted, toe-tapping music does just that, makes the feet tap or stomp, and the head to bob back and forth.

An ungodly beat, however, seems to move the hips and shoulders more. I do not know why or how, but that is what I've seen. Someone gave me the link to a video that they thought was cute. It showed a child, perhaps a year old, dancing to a music video that was so wicked I was amazed that anyone would show it to their child, let alone encourage them to dance to it. The way that little baby moved further affirmed my suspicions about types of music and the body parts they move.

No doubt there are types of dance that Christians should not perform. Satan has his wicked version of all things godly, but we should not allow him to kill our expressions of joy and praise to our God. Did not our Creator put it in us?

I hope my children never stop dancing for joy! There are few things more beautiful to me than the sight of my children dancing. So as they grow, how shall we keep dancing pure, and not fall into sensuousness and sin? Simply by following the same guidelines of Scripture that apply to other areas of life:

1) Do it as unto the Lord, and not to be seen of men (as in, mankind). (Ephesians 6:6-8)

2) Men and ladies who are not married to one another should not come in physical contact. (I Corinthians 7:1-2)

3) Dance should not be performed in a way that arouses sexual desires in others, causing them to stumble. (Matthew 5:27-28)

I'm sure there are other guidelines that would help. Can you think of any more?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Little Girls and Modesty

Well, my eldest daughter will be twelve this year. Last year she started to - umm, develop - and I'm trying not to PANIC! She has a very lovely, womanly shape already, and let me tell you I am more thoughtful of what she wears now than ever.

It occurs to me that T-shirts and other knit tops are no longer modest for her, unless worn underneath her dresses and jumpers. Why? Because those knit shirts show her form. Already. Before she is really even developed.

So now we are looking for tops that do not cling, but hang loosely down in the front, and do not fit closely.

Also, her skirts and dresses must not be made of a stretchy/clingy material (such as knit). Knits are for toddlers, ha ha.

My girls are such beautiful treasures! I want to teach them by example and by what clothes I buy or make for them, that the body is beauty to be concealed, and never exposed to the eyes of the general public.

I guess I'm a little nervous, yet excited as I recall the giddiness I felt when I was that age! I sense a peace and protection toward my modestly-dressed girls. Their fair skin and soft blond hair draws enough attention already. The LAST thing I want to do is to draw attention to their bodies by allowing them to dress immodestly. They are too precious, too sweet, too holy for putting on display so cheaply.